Archive for the ‘Robotics’ Category

The Daily 3D Detail: Safecracking robot showcased at DEF CON

Posted by Editor On August - 1 - 2017

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

Thousands of engineers, IT professionals, and self-proclaimed hackers descended on Las Vegas from July 27-30 for the world’s largest series of cybersecurity conferences known as the Black Hat Conference and DEF CON. One of the talks at the conference received world-wide attention for its dazzling display of tech-savvy engineering by utilizing 3D-printed parts and a studied application of tumbler design to show off a homemade robot that was able to crack a safe in half an hour.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

The robot is the design of Nathan Seidle, owner of Boulder, Colorado-based SparkFun, purveyor of DIY electronic goods such as Arduinos and Raspberry PIs. The story first appeared in Wired magazine.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

The robot challenge began with a gift of SentrySafe brand fireproof safe to Seidle from his wife, who purchased it cheaply as the original owner had lost the combination. Over the past few months, Seidle and his team of designers, Rob Reynolds and Joel Bartlett, spent $200 on various parts to build a robot whose capacity to examine micron-level differences in tumbler notches was able to reduce the million potential combinations (100x100x100) into a third of the possible options. This then gave the robot a greatly reduced amount of time needed to brute-force the remaining options and open the safe within a time frame of 90 minutes.

At the DEF CON show, Seidle and his team purchased a brand new safe from SentrySafe and set their robot to work. Cracking the safe within 30 minutes brought gasps and cheers from the conference audience, providing a stunning display of how the designing of 3D-printed parts and clever robotics continue to challenge the complex world of cybersecurity.

For more articles on the story, See and For a tutorial on how to build your own safecracking robot, visit this page at Sparkfun.

Arduino CEO Musto Canned for Falsifying Credentials

Image shot of an Arduino Mega with pin-out descriptions from Arduino forum user Nantonos

Arduino, the open-source electronics provider of programmable circuit boards, is a favorite among 3D printrs and makerspace hobbyists who are looking for easy ways of incorporating microprocessors into their creations. The Italian company began in 2003 and is now a business staple in a niche market it almost exclusively owns.

CEO Federico Musto

Trouble first began in spring of this year when an investigation into the listed credentials of CEO Federico Musto proved that he did not actually possess a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), or an MBA from New York University (NYU). The story first appeared in Wired magazine, wherein Musto admitted to the fabricated resume.

“It’s true, it’s my fault, sometimes I try to squeeze and say, yes I got the MBA,” he told Wired. “Only thing I can prove is I went to kindergarten.”

The false records were initially caught by a true MIT graduate, Adafruit founder Limor Fried: Fried commented on the discovery by saying, “When you go to MIT, there is always this murmur that they had to lower the standards for you,” she said. “And after you graduate, you get asked all the time if you were actually smart enough to have earned your credentials. It’s a little bit insane that this guy has gotten this far without ever being questioned.”

As a result of earlier corporate infighting, Arduino’s original founders Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis and Tom Igoe, founded the company BCMI in competition to Arduino. Recently they were able to acquire 100% of Arduino AG, as well as its trademarks, thus paving the way for the ouster of Musto and the installation of Dr. Fabio Violante as CEO. Banzi has assumed the chairman and CTO position.

As an afternote, Musto’s LinkedIn credentials now merely list a Montessori kindergarten year in Italy.

For more quotes on the takeover of Arduino, please see this article at

The Daily 3D Detail: Will 3D printing enable life on Mars?

Posted by Franka Schoening On July - 10 - 2017

While Matt Damon made living on Mars look like fun, assuming you have the right soundtrack and degrees, reality is still very far from the movie The Martian.

NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge

NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge

NASA is trying to change this by launching its 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, which encourages inventors to create habitats for Mars explorers out of recyclable materials and simulated Martian soil. The ability to have robots fly to Mars and build habitats on location, as supposed to transporting houses from Earth, will allow for larger sizes and a reduction in transportation cost. Space explorers would arrive to established housing, hence have immediate shelter from the harsh conditions present on the red planet.

Read the whole story here.

The Autonomous Farting Octopus Robot

Posted by Editor On August - 28 - 2016

Studies conducted at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 3D-printed a soft robot operating through microfluid technology

Here Come the Soft Robots

Jennifer A. Lewis, the Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, commented on the project led by Robert Wood, the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences: “Through our hybrid assembly approach, we were able to 3D print each of the functional components required within the soft robot body, including the fuel storage, power, and actuation, in a rapid manner. The ‘octobot’ is a simple embodiment designed to demonstrate our integrated design and additive fabrication strategy for embedding autonomous functionality.”

The octobot’s farting, or gas emission, is a result of the microfluid technology involving hydrogen peroxide that went into the robot’s design to operate its limbs. Scientists are most excited however in embodying chip operation without requiring rigid circuitry.

For more on the report and its significance as a breakthrough into soft-bodied robots, see:

For the original study printed in the international weekly journal of science, Nature, visit:

Skating Ahead into Advanced Robotics

Posted by Editor On July - 16 - 2016

Skating Ahead into Advanced Robotics

The robotic stingray, created with the use of 3D printing technology, uses a gold skeleton whose springlike qualities complement the light-induced cellular retraction of the rat heart cells to cause the robot to “swim” in predetermined directions

Recently published in the journal Science, among other publications, is the story of Kevin Kit Parker, an applied physicist at Harvard University who has been able to create a tiny stingray capable of semi-autonomous movement through the integration of heart cells from rats.

Writing for Science, Elizabeth Pennisi describes Parker’s journey of invention over that past five years as he and his team have been working on the principles of recreating a functional human heart. What started out with the recreation of the cellular “pumping” of jellyfish-like objects in their lab has culminated in the creation of this artificial stingray whose movement is directed by the use of light sources.

Because the robot is unable to regulate its body temperature to keep the rat cells alive, or even adequately feed the cells, the robot can only function in a salt and sugar solution heated to the correct temperature. The robot however does respond to light stimulation for its movement, which is facilitated by living cells and thereby qualifies the invention as a “cyborg.”

At only the size of a nickel, this development will undoubtedly pave the path for more biomedical uses of 3D printing. To read the full story, visit:

Robot Sex Producing Offspring

Posted by Editor On June - 3 - 2016

Robot Sex Producing Offspring

You can’t make this stuff up, people. It’s happening in Amsterdam, of all places.

Bridget Butler Millsaps on how this is all unfolding at: